PHOENIX — The Arizona Supreme Court ordered the "Invest in Education" initiative back on the ballot Wednesday, overturning a lower court ruling by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Christopher Coury.
Coury agreed with opponents who claimed the 100-word summary on the petitions voters signed inaccurately described the measure. Coury also found that a bonus system the petition company used to award some circulators violated a law that bans paying them per signature.
The Arizona Supreme Court decision overturning Coury’s ruling was unanimous. A major victor for proponents of the Invest in Education initiative. More than 400,000 voters signed the petitions to qualify it for the November ballot.
"Today's ruling by the Arizona Supreme Court keeping Invest in Education on the November ballot is an important victory because it gives millions of Arizona voters the opportunity to put more resources in our schools," Amber Gould, Chairwoman of the Invest in Education campaign said.
The Secretary of State's office has not yet completed its review of the signatures to determine if it will get on the ballot.
Backers of the Invest in Education Act see it as a way to pump about $940 million a year into the state’s underfunded school system.
The proposed initiative is backed by many educators and the state teachers’ union. It would impose a 3.5% tax surcharge on income above $250,000 for an individual or above $500,000 for couples.